Literature for the business leader published by SchmidPreissler International Strategy Consultants, The Lion’s House, D-83703 Gmund am Tegernsee, schmidpreissler@schmidpreissler.de, www.schmidpreissler.de

 

 

 
 

SchmidPreissler Brand Equity+Performance©  Programm

 
 

Issue: 08/200

Next Issue: Week 40/2008

 

 

Excerpt of further issues topics: Brand Equity and Brand Strategy, Brand Equity and Brand Diffusion, Brand Equity and Company Success, Brand Equity and Sales and Acquisition of Brands or Companies, Brand Equity and Marketing Investment

 

 

 

 

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Brand Leadership is the “Boss’s Business”

Brands are fragile and sensitive systems and often small disagreements are sufficient to rock consumer trust lastingly or to even destroy it for good. The perception of a brand and its power to create customer loyalty are essentially formed and impacted through communication. It thus has to be the supreme rule of thumb of brand leadership, to avoid irritation among the established customer base from the beginning or respectively to recognize it as early as possible and to eliminate it at that point. This goal can only be accomplished, if brand management is the task of those responsible for brands.

Instead of focusing on a long-term development of brands, many companies nowadays are more inclined to conduct short-term ad campaigns.

To delegate this strategic core activity to advertising and design agencies often turns out to be a dangerous boomerang. Advertising and design agencies live off renewal. A brand however means an obligation to continuity. A consequent orientation on the elements that define a brand (origin, history, image, positioning, profile, awareness and protection) limits the ingenious power of those working creatively. However, this is still better than leaving brand leadership to an industry shaped more by short-term campaign-oriented thinking than long-term fundamental values.

The probably most well-known example was the provocative Benetton campaign of star photographer Oliviero Toscani in the mid 80’s. It showed an HIV-positive person, a newborn smeared with blood and “the last shirt of a soldier” – the blood smeared clothing of a soldier killed in war. These drastic images did not have anything in common with what “Benetton” stands for. Luciano Benetton wrote in his book “Io e i miei fratelli“ (United Colors of Benetton): “ It became clear to me that the apparel industry does not have a sense of the beginning times (about 1960)…. A cardigan – and certainly a sweater – was practical and it made you look young. The cardigan, this is what I believed, was a democratic garment, that did not embody a social nor any other particular task”. – Benetton was born. The shock campaign unfurled a fatal effect: It frightened off customers. The market share of Benetton caved in.

Some of our brands seem to be lacking the self-confidence necessary to stick up for one’s own roots and distinctive image and also to express it. Consequently, more and more brand identities seem alike. For instance, if you leave the name off at a series of fashion companies, it is going to be difficult for the consumer to determine, which brand identity he is seeing. Similar applies to furniture brochures, beer commercials or maybe even fragrances and cosmetics.

Brands need an unmistakable image and this image has to have character and it should not try to chum up to everyone and try to please everyone. Those responsible for brands, who have perceived this, have created great success stories. And this also applies to the material value of the brand.

 

 

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Editor: Dipl. Vw. Christina Schmid-Preissler - Assistant Editor: Regina Seago

Copyright © 2005 SchmidPreissler Strategy Consultants. All rights reserved.

© 2005 SchmidPreissler

 

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